Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back to Work

Yea, it's 28 degrees. Fahrenheit. (-1.9 Celsius) That's below freezing, y'all.

But Brego and I are totally tough customers so I got my thick breeches and my winter mountain horse boots on and we walked across the street to use the neighbor's cozy indoor. I felt so hard core when it started to snow and then I got my ass into the barn and it was nice and warm.

Anyway, both Brego and I are out of shape. He's always been worse on his left and now it's exaggerated from the loss of conditioning from his left hock. The footing is deep so it's a lot of work for him and he was drenched with sweat in about 20 minutes. I am going to trace clip him soon so he can be more comfortable while he works.

Here is a video. You can see we're both a bit rusty. His left canter is much more inconsistent than his right. And you guys are totally jealous of my Don't-Shoot-Me Helmet. 'Cause that's how I roll.

Dressage Work from Eventing Percheron on Vimeo.

Even though we're pretty rough around the edges, it's nice to be back in work again. I think the footing will help strengthen Brego, but I am keeping the workouts short for the near term. I don't want to over do it.

As an aside, there was a cute western reiner mare sharing the arena with me and she totally schooled Brego on balance. And obedience. :)


sylvia said...

nice hunter orange! i think you should change "y'all" to yo. LOL!

That's below freezing, yo!

glad you got to get some work in. stay warm.

(side note: husband came home today, "it's so pretty outside. the snow stuck to the trees...you know, i really want to go home" me: funny you mention that. i took the dogs out this morning and thought, "wow! it's freaking cold out, yo! this shit sucks. i don't think i can handle this anymore!!")

Anonymous said...

I need a dont-shoot-me helmet. I noticed the hunter blinds in the trees at the edge of my favorite hacking field. I'm not worried about a hunter mistaking us for a deer, but Percheron could be mistaken for a moose!

dp said...

I love my Mountain Horse winter boots. It's supposed to go down to 2C here tonight, our first cold weather this season. Guns have been going off all over the place so I better get me a dont-kill-me cover too. The vet would like to see me back on Raven next week. Eek!

Tripple Spring said...

Wow! Now I feel bad for grumping about the 40 degree weather we've been having here!

Funder said...

I applaud your devotion to riding!

A couple weeks ago, I found a don't-shoot-me helmet cover online and forwarded the link to Graham. It should appear for Christmas!

Ok, what's that thing you were doing at the beginning of the video, the part where you were asking him to bend right then left? Is that a half pass?

Daun said...

Hey Funder,
That is a sad shoulder-in to haunches-in. The point is to keep him bent to the left the entire time. For the first half, his shoulders come in off the rail in a 3 (or 4, depending on who you talk to) track. Then the shoulders go back to the rail and the haunches move in off the rail, all the while bent to the left.

In a shoulder in, the horse is moving in a direction "away" from the bend. In a haunches is, the horse is moving in a direction "toward" the bend. A half pass is a haunches in across the diagonal. So they are bent left, moving left, off the rail and across the diagonal.

Brego has a lot of trouble moving in the direction of bend. The only way I could get him to do a haunches in, sad as it is, is to "use the bend" from the shoulder in, and reposition his body while holding the bend. It's worked to teach the concept, but we have a lot of work to refine the movement. His tempo, cadence, and throughness all suffer in lateral movements, even at the walk, so that is a big area of concern. And of course, the haunches in is largely nonexistent at the trot and the shoulder in is pretty bad as well. I am doing a shoulder in at the trot in between canters, bent right, to get his weight back on his haunches for his departure. One reason his right canter is so much better in the video. He is UNABLE to do a shoulder in at the trot bent left. I am not pushing the issue yet since it's his left hind which is weak and shoulder ins will strengthen it. When he's ready.

Blah, who knew I liked to talk about dressage so much!

Andrea said...

Hi Daun and Brego!
Love your blog, this is the first comment I'm making seeing as I'm new to this Blogger thing. I even linked to you from Gogo's blog cause we like following you so much :D Glad Brego is feeling better!

Daun said...

Andrea, Welcome! I love the work you have done with your horse and it's nice to see a fellow barefooter performance horse "in the area". Best of luck and I will be following your blog closely!

Funder said...

Thanks for the explanation, Daun! Makes a lot more sense now. I would possibly have something more intelligent to say but we packed all day then stuffed ourselves for dinner and tomorrow we load up and head out. Anyway, thanks.

Melissa said...

Hey, Brego is looking pretty good considering his injury. He seems really soft in the mouth.

Gotta love those winter riding boots! Where I live, its nearly -20(Celsius)!

Anonymous said...

Knee-high mountain horse boots were the best things ever created for New England riders.